July 17, 2012
Just a warning…be prepared to get lightheaded after this one. It’s gonna take a lot of breath for all of the “awww’s” about to leave your mouth! :D
The poet Robert Louis Stevenson probably said it best about a peaceful forest when he wrote, “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” Well, a farmer from the UK became a living example of those words nearly 17 years ago and created one of the most beautiful tributes I have ever seen. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Winston Howes, now 70, married the love of his life, Janet, back in 1962. For 33 years they lived happily on a 112-acre farm in the English countryside. Tragically though, in 1995, Janet unexpectedly passed away at age 50 from sudden heart failure. Devastated by his loss, by being cut away from his only love, Winston set out to create a lasting memorial to Janet, a peaceful place where he could go to be with her. That place remained a secret known only to Winston and his family until just last week.
A hot air balloonist by the name of Andy Collett was flying over the countryside near Howes’ farm when he made this enchanting discovery.
A perfect heart-shaped meadow with a singular path leading into and out of its center. How beautiful! Collett was stunned, “I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer – but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky. It was a perfect heart hidden away from view – you would not know it was there. You can just imagine the love story,” and what a love story it is!
After the heart wrenching loss of his beloved wife, Winston, with the help of his son, planted 6,000 oak trees on his land, the heart perfectly cut out by a hedge he planted first.
“I came up with the idea of creating a heart in the clearing of the field after Janet died,” Howes says,” I thought it was a great idea – it was a flash of inspiration – and I planted several thousand oak trees. Once it was completed we put a seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.”
He goes on to explain how he has planted daffodils in the middle of the clearing, and how each year in the spring, they bloom big and beautiful. What an absolutely unbelievable love story, a true modern romantic!! I must say my heart melted a little bit when I heard this story the first time. It’s an affirmation of true love, a genuine reminder of the power of affection! I know, I’m starting to ramble a bit. I just can’t get over how awesome this is!!!! Anyways, I hope this brightened your day like it did mine!
The End. :)
Filed under: The Inside Track